In a gesture designed to help ease tensions in boiling-over Ferguson, Missouri, the NFL’s St. Louis Rams provided three local high school football teams with free tickets to Saturday night’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers
Kyle Eversgerd, the Rams’ manager of fan development and alumni relations, reached out to McCluer High, McCluer North and McCluer South to offer 75 free tickets per team to attend the game, according to MMQB.com.
“In light of everything going on, it just kind of hit me,” Eversgerd said. “I can’t imagine, with all that stuff going on, how tough it must be to practice. We were able to get them away from it all.”
McCluer senior running back Henry Jones said the opportunity to attend an NFL game meant a lot.
“It was overwhelming to see the NFL live, for real,” Jones said, according to the website. “You saw how fast they played and how they played together. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I could actually see myself out there playing.”
Michael Brown, 18, was unarmed when he was fatally shot by a police officer Aug. 9, touching off a week of protests and turmoil in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
McCluer coach Mario MacDonald said the Rams’ gesture gave his players a mental break from the tragedy.
“Our kids are focused on this season, but I worry about them out here, to be honest,” he said.